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News » Diamond market: Rauch's middle relief now


Diamond market: Rauch's middle relief now


Diamond market: Rauch's middle relief now

KEY

Discard - Drop player (in most circumstances)
Stash - Hold player if roster space is available; consider dropping if trend continues
Hold - Do not drop player (in most circumstances)

Catchers

Jorge Posada, New York Yankees

On the disabled list for the second time this season, Posada (shoulder) has opted to try to rehab his shoulder rather than undergo the recommended surgery. He has fraying around the tendons in his labrum, which essentially rules out a return behind the plate this year. However, Posada hopes to strengthen the shoulder to the point he can serve as the team's designated hitter or first baseman, though the Yankees are teeming with options at both spots. With a rather murky outlook, owners in shallow leagues needn't retain the veteran backstop. Deeper mixed leaguers can wait until there is more news before making a decision.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Stash
AL-only: Hold

J.R. Towles, Houston

The activation of catcher Humberto Quintero (concussion) spelled the end of Towles' second stint with the club this season. Considered to be their catcher of the future coming into 2008, Towles hit .149 before getting demoted in early June. He then proceeded to go 3-for-23 after being recalled, which actually lowered his average to .143. Don't look for Towles to reappear in an Astros uniform before September barring another injury. Cut him loose in all but deeper NL-only leagues.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
NL-only: Stash

Shortstops

Omar Vizquel, San Francisco

With veteran second baseman Ray Durham (Milwaukee Brewers) already gone, attention now shifts to Vizquel. The 41-year-old shortstop is being shopped. He has reportedly been informed by manager Bruce Bochy that his playing time will be reduced in favor of infielder Emmanuel Burriss if he remains with the club after the July 31 trade deadline. Vizquel has been awful this year, but his value might be even further reduced if he remains with the club. If he's still on San Francisco's roster August 1, it might be time to cut ties with him even in deeper NL-only setups.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
NL-only: Stash

David Eckstein, Toronto

Eckstein has found playing time a little bit harder to come by since the team hired manager Cito Gaston in late June. Eckstein has appeared in just half of the club's 16 games this month, while infielders Joe Inglett and Marco Scutaro have seen increased playing time. The veteran is struggling in his limited role as well, posting a .231 average after hitting better than .300 in May and June. Eckstein isn't an option in mixed formats, but his value is diminishing even in AL-only leagues. Stash him in those setups for now but keep an eye on his playing time.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
AL-only: Stash

Starting Pitchers

Randy Wolf, Houston

You have to give Astros general manager Ed Wade credit, he doesn't let little things like six losses in seven starts or horrendous splits outside pitcher-friendly Petco Park (1-6, 6.63 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) dissuade him from dealing a top-10 prospect to acquire a player he likes. All kidding aside, the Astros' decision to add Wolf makes minimal sense as the 31-year-old southpaw has made just two quality starts in his last seven outings while watching his ERA swell from 3.83 to 4.74 during that time. He has value in NL-only leagues because of his strikeouts, but don't expect the increased run support he should see in Houston to offset the probable jump in ratios.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
NL-only: Hold

Kevin Slowey, Minnesota

After stifling the Brewers with a three-hit shutout June 29, Slowey has been knocked around. Thus far in July, Slowey has allowed 15 runs in 15 innings of work. While normally that might not be enough for inclusion on this report, the fact that pitcher Francisco Liriano has yielded exactly one earned run in his last 35 innings while striking out 42 for Triple-A Rochester could have the team looking for a reason to open a spot in rotation for Liriano. However, Slowey is worth retaining in deeper leagues until a move is officially made.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Hold
AL-only: Hold

Relief Pitchers

Jon Rauch, Arizona

Being traded from the Nationals to Arizona is a big blow for Rauch's fantasy value as the towering righty is expected to work in a setup capacity in front of closer Brandon Lyon. At least, that's the expectation in the short term. Lyon has struggled recently, and Rauch saved 17 games with the Nationals this year. Rauch should be retained in all formats and might make a nice addition if a shortsighted owner cuts him loose.

Shallow mixed: Hold
Deep mixed: Hold
NL-only: Hold


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: July 25, 2008

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